Juvenile arrested after arson, defacement of Latter-day Saint chapel in Syracuse, police say

This photo, shared anonymously with Gephardt Daily, shows burn marks on church benches.

SYRACUSE, Utah, Oct. 9, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A 16-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a Syracuse chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was burned, vandalized, and defaced with anti-Christian symbols.

The Syracuse Police Department issued a statement Saturday afternoon on the case, which was first reported by Gephardt Daily.

On Oct. 9, 2021 at approximately 1 a.m., the Syracuse Fire Department responded to an LDS Church at 1112 S. 1525 West in Syracuse on a fire alarm. When fire crews entered the building, they found it filled with smoke and discovered a sprinkler system had extinguished the fire.

Fire crews observed extensive water and property damage throughout the building caused by the fire. Additionally, the fire department observed several intentional acts of vandalism throughout the building. The fire is being investigated as arson.

Syracuse Police and Fire officials responded early on Saturday, Oct. 9, after a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was vandalized. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

Syracuse Police Department, Syracuse Fire Department, Davis County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab and the ATF are working together to investigate the arson and vandalism.

On Oct. 9, 2021 at 2 p.m., an arson arrest was made regarding this case; a 16-year-old male responsible for the damage was booked into a juvenile detention facility. He will not be identified because he is a juvenile.

Response

Emergency crews responded to the scene, a few blocks southeast of Syracuse High School, at about 1:10 a.m. Sprinklers had doused the blaze.

Arson damage to the interior included the burning of padded benches used by the congregation.

Inverted crosses, and what appeared to a pentagram, were spray-painted on the front of the church. Images including the number 666 were sprayed on other doors.

Syracuse Police and Fire officials responded early on Saturday, Oct. 9, after a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was vandalized. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

Officers questioned neighbors about anything they might have seen or captured on surveillance video. Syracuse Police Department officers were back at the scene in the morning, questioning any neighbors they might have missed earlier.

Several vehicles from a local cleaning company were on the scene Saturday morning, after the scene had been cleared by investigators.

Gephardt Daily will have additional information if it is released by police.

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